Labor Day unofficially signals the end of the summer season, and while there are a few shows that are still straggling from the summer months, the fall television season will kick into gear in a matter of days (Boardwalk Empire, for instance, returns on September 7th). That means, it’s time to catch up on all on many of those shows you’ve either fell behind on, or haven’t got into just yet. As always, we suggest you check out the 25 Best Shows on Netflix and the next 25 best, but for your more immediate fall television needs, make sure you get caught up with these five series on Netflix.
Scandal (Season 3 Is Available Now, Season 4 Returns to Air on September 25th) — Now that Shonda Rhimes completely owns Thursday nights on ABCs, don’t expect her to let up on the throttle of what has become the most batsh*t show on television. Season three had a bad case of Ryan Murphy-itis, however, which transformed it from one of television’s best guilty pleasures to one of television’s best hate watches. Either way, it’s ridiculously entertaining to watch, even when it’s completely exasperating.
Arrow (Season 2 Available on September 14th, Season 3 Returns on October 8th) — What began as a kind of guilty-pleasure comic-book series survived a few growing pains early in the first season to become one of network television’s most addictive shows. No show has felt quite so much like candy since Veronica Mars: It’s ridiculously pretty people, amazing stunts, really great series-long arcs, some nice mythology, and some clever monster-of-the-week episodes that tie into the overall arc very well. If you haven’t started, 44 episodes may feel daunting, but it’s one of the quickest shows to get into and watch. Bonus: Once you’re caught up, you’ll also be ready for the fall’s The Flash spin-off, which began as a backdoor pilot on Arrow.
The Walking Dead (Season 4 available on September 28th, Season 5 begins on October 12th) — Season four of the most popular show on all of television had a first half of the season with a grim new element (an contagious and deadly virus) but it spun its wheels where it concerned the series’ major villain, The Governor. However, the second half of the series started out strong and maintained its momentum through the back eight, which included a couple of the most devastating deaths in the series.
New Girl (Season 3 available September 16th, Season 4 begins September 16th) — One of network’s better sitcoms, New Girl came down a bit from the heights of season two, one of the best sitcom seasons of the last several years. That had a lot to do with its Moonlighting problem, as Nick and Jess finally coupled up, and the show focused a bit too much on their relationship at the expense of the other characters, particularly Schmidt, who was sidelined for too much of the season. Damon Wayans, Jr. also was re-added to the cast, and it took a while for the writers to figure out what to do with him. The good news is that he began to gel with the rest of the cast by the end of the season, and the writers set it up so that season four should be a return to glory.
Parks and Recreation (Season 6 available on September 26th, Season 7 premiere date not available) — We don’t know exactly when the final, shortened season of Parks and Recreation will return, but it’s safe to assume that it will fill a hole vacated by one of the many sitcoms NBC will probably cancel this fall. Season six sets the stage for that final season, and if you haven’t seen six yet, it really is a must. It saw the send-off of two beloved characters, the further maturation of April, and the addition of Billy Eichner. Plus, where else are you going to find this much Chris Pratt after your adoration of him grew into full-blown obsession after Guardians of the Galaxy?
Plus, here’s a chart with the full list of the Fall television releases (large version here).